Saturday, March 22, 2014

A signal indication

Winter weather often brings challenging driving conditions, and with that comes the inevitable opportunity for mishap. And so was the outcome of a recent winter driving incident at the Snoqualmie Parkway railway crossing.  The incident did not involve a train or engine, and there were no serious injuries.  However, the multiple vehicle accident resulted in the loss of a mast and signals in the center median when a deflected vehicle struck the mast, broke it off at the base, and the resulting impact with the local terrain damaged nearly every component.  Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and the vehicle owner was appropriately insured.

The Northwest Railway Museum is responsible for five railroad crossing signal systems. With limited project work and just occasional component failures, the Museum only rarely purchases replacement parts.  So it came as quite a surprise to learn how much consolidation and change in the railroad signal industry has taken place in the last few years: now many signal components are supplied by Siemens Rail Automation, and nearly everything is made to order. So instead of purchasing parts "off the self," a new assembly was ordered.  About six weeks later, it arrived on a truck ready for installation.
The installation was completed in a few hours and the system was tested.  Costs totaled more than $6,000 and were fully reimbursed by the vehicle's insurance carrier.  Now the Snoqualmie Parkway signals are back in service and ready for the upcoming operating season!

1 comment:

David said...

Spike, Wow! $6,000 for a single railroad crossing signal is mind-boggling... Its really a good thing that the motorist involved was fully insured! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave